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Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic Care: Can It Really Help You Live Pain Free?

There are plenty of people who say that chiropractic made a significant difference in their lives, relieving pain and increasing mobility. Still, some skeptics want scientific proof that it helps with managing pain and, in many cases, eliminating it altogether. While chiropractic patient testimonies are great, included here is a collection of cold, hard, facts – scientific studies on chiropractic care and its effectiveness in treating pain.

Systematic review of evaluations of chiropractic care for pain management.

This review, published in August 2016, examined six randomized controlled trials and three full economic evaluations to determine the effectiveness of chiropractic care as compared to exercise therapy, physical therapy, and medical care. Chiropractic care was found to be comparable to or better than all three of these, particularly when managing pain.

They found “moderate evidence” that showed chiropractic care is just as effective as physical therapy. The evidence in the other areas was limited, but still gave chiropractic high marks.

Spinal manipulation for treating low back pain is as effective as more traditional treatments.

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health studied several clinical trials and reviews regarding chiropractic care. Time and again, chiropractic was found to be at least as effective as other pain reducing interventions.

Chiropractic patients can have more days of being pain free while avoiding surgery, invasive medical procedures, and medications that have harmful side effects. In one study, they found that chiropractic care is as effective as or better than more conventional medical care for as many as 18 months.

Chiropractic patients are less likely to use prescription pain killers like opioids.

James “Jim” Whedon, DC, MS, is a researcher at the Southern California University of Health Sciences, and is co-chair of the Research Working Group of the Academic Collaborative for Integrative Health. He examined the records of 33,000 adults in the New Hampshire All Payer Claims Database who registered as experiencing lower back pain. A little more than a third of those received chiropractic care. Of that group, only 38 percent had one or more prescriptions for an opioid, but that number jumped to 61 percent in the group who did not receive chiropractic care.

Upon examination of the related circumstances, Whedon concluded that the chiropractic patients were 57 percent less likely to fill an opioid prescription. This is a testament to the effectiveness of using chiropractic for pain relief.

Overwhelming research shows that chiropractic care is usually the best option when treating pain.

The American Chiropractic Association summarizes a number of studies and research findings that support the use of chiropractic care for pain. These studies recommended chiropractic as a safer, effective alternative to pharmaceuticals.

Others advocate incorporating chiropractic care with physical therapy and exercise for optimal results. One study (Goertz et al. (2013), Spine) asserts that using chiropractic manipulative therapy along with standard medical care provides a “significant advantage for decreasing pain and improving physical function…” Others shows that it reduced the chances of the patient having to undergo surgery and could manage their pain without drugs.

The evidence is overwhelming. Yes, regular chiropractic care can really help a person to live pain free. It also helps to follow the chiropractor’s recommendations regarding lifestyle changes and diet as well as taking any supplements that he or she advises.

While spinal manipulation is a big part of chiropractic care, it isn’t the only part. The chiropractor may recommend special stretches to do in between sessions or special supplements that can help the body to heal. That is what makes chiropractic so effective; it treats the entire body, not just the symptoms.

Start living pain free! Give us a call at (780)455-2112 to schedule your assessment with one of our wellness chiropractic doctors! Visit www.ocwc.ca to learn more about our clinic.

Low Back

How the Feet, Knees & Hips Affect the Low Back

If you have low back pain, or have had it, you are not alone. Experts estimate that around 80% of people will experience some type of back problem as some point in their lives. The Global Burden of Disease 2010 lists low back pain as the number one cause of disability worldwide. The good news is the majority of back pain is mechanical in origin or is not organic. This means that infection, cancer, fracture, inflammatory arthritis, and other serious conditions are not the cause. In fact, you may benefit by looking to your feet, knees and hips as the culprits.

The spine is the foundation for the body, supporting the spinal cord and the limbs. When there is a problem with any of the limbs it can affect the spine and vice versa. The intricate network of tendons, ligaments and nerves work together within the incredible machine that is the human body.

How the Feet Affect the Low Back

When there are problems with the feet, it can cause problems through the legs and all the way to the spine. This can cause the ankle to pronate, meaning it rolls inward. This alters the way the bones of the foot line up which extends through the tibia, or shin bone.

This can cause a condition called knock knees and it can change the way the entire body is aligned. This puts the body out of balance, destabilizing the spine, and can even cause the pelvis to tilt to one side or the other. When you are walking or standing, the stress caused by the misalignment it can create a domino effect, causing or contributing to low back pain.

How the Knees Affect the Low Back

One thing to remember when assessing pain in the body is that where it hurts may not be the source of the problem. It could be a symptom. Because of this, knee pain could be caused by a problem with your back and back pain could be caused by a problem with your knees.

It is important to take this type of pain at more than face value and do a little investigating to find the cause. That is why chiropractic is so beneficial in these situations.

If you see a chiropractor for your knee or back pain, he or she will assess your issues, talk to you about the pain you are experiencing and help you get to the root of your problem so that you can treat it and, in turn, help correct other associated issues. Knees connect the foot and spine so problems that affect the feet and ankles as well as the spine will very likely affect the knees and hips as well.

How the Hips Affect the Low Back

Muscle imbalances in the hip, such as tight hip flexors, can cause low back pain – or at least contribute to it. When the hip flexor muscles are too tight, is causes what is known as an anterior pelvic tilt.

In other words, the muscles cause an anterior pull on the pelvis. This affect posture and throws the entire lower body out of alignment. It can also affect the knees and feet if left untreated.

Hip flexors can become too tight if the person sits for extended periods of time or engages in activities like cycling and jogging. A chiropractor can guide you through exercises that will help release the tight muscles and stop the micro spasms that occur as a result.

He or she will also assess your knees, feet, and ankles to ensure that the issue has not through them out of alignment as well. Correcting the cause of the problem will often correct the associated issues and resolve the pain allowing you to return to your normal activities.

Visit www.ocwc.ca to learn more about our clinic! Call (780)455-2112 to schedule your chiropractic assessment today!

X-rays Chiropractic

Why Chiropractors Use X-rays As A Diagnostic Tool For Treatment

Most healthcare providers use x-rays as a diagnostic tool to treat a variety of patient complaints, including chiropractors. They can help doctors identify the source of a problem or if there is something more going on. X-rays can also help chiropractors determine the best course of action for treatment. To understand more, let’s take a closer look at what they are and how they’re used in most chiropractic offices.

What are x-rays?

An x-ray is a very vigorous form of electromagnetic radiation that is similar to radio waves, ultraviolet radiation, microwaves, or visible light that is used to view the internal composition of a person or thing. A beam is focused on a certain part of a person’s body, such as the back, it produces a digital image of the skeletal structure.

The beam passes easily through skin and other soft tissues, but is unable to pass through bone and teeth. Soft tissue that is denser, such as organs, ligaments, and muscles, will be visible, but will be captured in shades of gray. Areas like the bowel or lungs appear on the film as black.

The use of chiropractic x-rays

Chiropractic x-rays provide vital information that can affect how the chiropractor chooses to treat a patient. In some cases, chiropractic care or spinal manipulation may not be an appropriate course of action at that time and the patient may be started on a different, gentler therapy.

Other times, it can show the chiropractor how to best proceed in treating the patient. In short, patients are able to receive better, more well-rounded care which can better facilitate their healing and pain management.

Some of the benefits of chiropractic x-rays include:

  • Identify a condition or symptom, such as a spinal tumor or lesion, that would provide a medical reason that a certain course of care should not be done.
  • Obtain important biomechanical information that can aid in guiding treatment.
  • To stay apprised and maintain a record of a patient’s degenerative process.
  • Aid in identifying anomalies in the spine and joints that can affect treatment.
  • Allows patients to better understand their condition and treatment plan, allowing them to take ownership of the process and be more involved in their therapy and healing.

What does a chiropractor look for on an x-ray film?

When a chiropractor takes an x-ray of a patient, they are looking for things in several very specific areas. The first thing they check is to make sure that there are no dislocations, fractures, cancer, infections, tumors, or other potentially dangerous conditions.

They then look for disk height and other signs of disk degeneration, bone density, bone spurs, joint spaces, and alignment. This allows them to identify conditions like scoliosis and other conditions that may require specific forms of treatment.

Many chiropractors prefer that the patient is in a weight bearing position when taking spinal x-rays. This differs from the majority of medical facilities which have the patient lie down.

The advantage of a weight bearing x-ray is that it allows for measuring such as with leg length deficiency, scoliosis, and the narrowing of joint space. It can also show that certain bones, such as the tibia and fibula, are separating which can be an indication of a torn tendon or problem with the joint. A non-weight bearing x-ray simply cannot provide the same perspective and vital clues to a patient’s condition may be missed.

Visit www.ocwc.ca to learn more about our clinic, doctors and therapists!

Chiropractic Benefits

Why Chiropractic Should Be A Part of Your Everyday Life

Most people don’t even think about visiting a chiropractor until they’ve sustained an injury or need a quick adjustment to help ease pain. They typically see it as a treatment for injuries or conditions that they’ve already sustained, not as a preventative health care option. And while chiropractic care is an exceptional way to treat existing conditions and injuries, that is only half of the picture. It is also a viable health care approach that is effective in improving overall wellness. There are some very compelling reasons to incorporate chiropractic into your everyday life. Chiropractic can:

Help lower your risk of injury

When the spine is out of alignment it can put stress on other parts of the body including ligaments and joints. Regular chiropractic care helps keep the spine aligned thus reducing your risk of injury.

Elevate your mood

Chiropractic treatment can help to balance your hormones. It increases the feel-good hormone dopamine while decreasing the stress hormone cortisol. This makes it an exceptional drug free option for patients who suffer with anxiety, depression, or mood swings. As part of your treatment you chiropractor may also recommend dietary and lifestyle changes that can help even more.

Make you feel more energetic

When your spine is out of alignment your entire body suffers. You can feel stiff, sore, and fatigues. Most patients report feeling invigorated after their treatment. They can move easier and have much more energy. Part of this is due to the effect the treatment has on the body as well as the hormones that are released that provide a boost in your mood.

Help you sleep better

More than 60 percent of people in the United States, both children and adults, report having problems with sleep. Studies show that chiropractic can actually help with insomnia allowing you to get better, more restful, and more beneficial sleep.

The combination of pain alleviation, increased flexibility, and overall wellness as well as stress relieving properties allow your body and mind to relax so that you can fall asleep easier and stay asleep. Incorporating chiropractic care into your everyday routine can help you get a better night’s sleep.

Strengthen your immune system

Studies show that patients who receive regular chiropractic care have a significantly stronger immune system than patients who don’t see a chiropractor. In fact, one of the most significant studies to date that explored the connection between regular chiropractic care and a strong immune system was conducted by Dr. Ronald Pero, Ph. D. of New York’s Preventive Medicine Institute where he was the chief of cancer research. He was also a professor of medicine at New York University. The study, which spanned several years, found that patients who received chiropractic care on a regular basis had a 200 percent greater immune competence than non-chiropractic patients.

Manage your pain

Chronic pain as well as pain from injuries or certain conditions respond very well to regular chiropractic care. Any type of pain can negatively impact your quality of life, but pain medications can have unpleasant side effects that can be debilitating. It doesn’t help that many pain medications are highly addictive.

Chiropractic treatments offer a natural remedy for pain that is medication free. What’s more, regular treatments work to fix the cause of the problem so that the issue can be permanently resolved.

Make you feel better without medication

Chiropractic treatments are non-invasive and drug free. It uses the body’s own healing properties to naturally address issues and achieve results. It is low risk and very effective, treating the cause of problems, not just the symptoms the way pain medication does.

When you look at all of the benefits of regular chiropractic care and realize that those results can be achieved naturally, it’s easy to see why more people are incorporating it into their regular health care routines.

Stress chiropractic benefits

How Chiropractic Helps Relieve Stress

Everyone experiences stress at some point in their life. In fact, it is becoming a sort of new normal in today’s hectic, fast paced, high pressure society.

However, a large percentage of the United States population is feeling a significant impact from the stress in their lives; 77 percent say they experience physical stress related symptoms on a regular basis. Additionally, 73 percent report experiencing stress related psychological symptoms including anxiety and depression. These are not accurate numbers though because many people never seek help for their stress issues.

Stress symptoms should not be taken lightly. It is important to address the symptoms and find ways to reduce the stress. Chiropractic is an effective stress reliever.

What is stress?

In literal terms, stress is the state of emotional or mental strain, pressure, or tension that result from difficulties, adverse situations, or extremely demanding circumstances. However, the very nature of stress by definition makes it very subjective. What is an adverse situation to one person may not even faze another. What one person finds to be an extremely demanding circumstance would to another barely warrant a second thought. This makes it difficult to pin down a precise, universal definition. More often, the term stress is more often used to describe the set of symptoms that are caused by stress and those symptoms can be as varied as the people who experience them.

What are the symptoms of stress?

Stress symptoms can affect the entire body, both physically and mentally. Common symptoms of stress include:

  • Sleep problems
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle tension
  • Lower back pain
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Fatigue
  • Lack of motivation
  • Irritability
  • Headache
  • Restlessness
  • Chest pain
  • Feelings of being overwhelmed
  • Decrease or increase in sex drive
  • Inability to focus
  • Undereating or overeating

How do stress symptoms affect health?

Technically, stress itself does not have a negative impact on health. Some people deal with situations that others would consider to be stressful, yet they never exhibit the first symptom. This again speaks to the subjective nature of stress. Different people experience different symptoms and it is a combination of the stress symptoms and how the person handles those symptoms that adversely affect health.

Ultimately, stress symptoms can lead to some very serious conditions including heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and even certain cancers. Psychologically, it can lead to social withdrawal and social phobias. It is also often directly linked to alcohol and drug abuse.

How can chiropractic help relieve stress symptoms?

Chiropractic cannot get rid of stress, but it can help relieve stress symptoms. The more stress the body endures, the more sensitive it becomes to pain and physical imbalances. Chiropractic can help with bringing the body back into balance, aligning the spine, and relieving pain.

On a larger scale, the simple act of aligning the spine helps to relieve stress in the body that the person may not even be aware of experiencing. The physical stress of a misaligned spine can exacerbate stress symptoms and make a person more susceptible to stressful stimuli in their environment.

Chiropractic helps to improve circulation which is essential in relieving muscle tension. This is integral in achieving and maintaining a relaxed, balanced state. It shuts down the fight or flight response that is a common accompaniment to stress, and allows the body to rest and heal.

Stress symptoms are should not be ignored. They can lead to several very serious health conditions. If you are experiencing stress in your life or stress symptoms (you don’t have to recognize that you are under stress to experience its symptoms) pay attention. Those symptoms aren’t likely to go away but instead get worse. Take care of yourself; get help for your stress.

Give us a call at (780)455-2112 to schedule your initial assessment with one of our wellness chiropractic doctors! Start living stress free!

Chiropractic care benefits family

4 Key Ways Chiropractic Care Benefits the Whole Family

When we think of chiropractic care, our minds automatically jump to treatment for work injuries, or issues stemming from aging. While spinal manipulations and other chiropractic treatment are highly valuable in those situations, they are not the beginning and ending of what chiropractic care can accomplish.

Adults who embrace the benefits of a chiropractor should consider treatment for their entire family, as it can provide unique benefits to each member in terms of total wellness and quality of life.

Here are four key ways chiropractic care benefits the whole family.

Injury prevention

The best way to treat an injury is to avoid an injury. It sounds simple, but many individuals don’t think of their health this way. By implementing a chiropractic regimen into each family member’s life, everyone’s spine is well-maintained and aligned, joints are looser, and necks are relaxed. For younger family members, this means sliding into third base won’t pull a muscle, studying for that exam won’t cause headaches, and taking out the trash won’t hurt their backs (even though they may still gripe about it).

For the older family members, chiropractic treatment for prevention helps avoid workplace injuries, minimizes strains and sprains from gardening or other “weekend warrior” activities, and even aids in sleeping and stress relief.

Chiropractic care also helps every family member…

Increase flexibility

As mentioned above, chiropractic treatment helps keep joints loose, and the entire body functioning properly. Flexibility is key in performing physical activity,  lessening growing pains, aging gracefully, and avoiding disease and injury. Spinal manipulation coupled with at-home exercises make it easy for each family member to be as limber as possible.

Enhance healing

A wide variety of health issues, from headaches and backaches, to immune diseases and digestive problems, can be addressed through chiropractic care. That’s because, instead of treating the symptoms of an issue, chiropractors aim toward the root cause of the problem. No matter what a person’s age, if they are dealing with issues caused by spinal misalignment or stiff muscles and joints, consulting with a chiropractor for treatment can speed up the healing process, decrease downtime, and lessen the chance of the issue recurring.

Reduce performance issues

Most individuals crave to perform at the highest level possible. Some examples are scoring well on a test, playing the best basketball game, driving safely, excelling at job duties, hiking a trail, and giving a speech. We all want to do our best and be successful.

The holistic approach of chiropractic care helps us function at top performance. While pain takes the focus away from  performing  well, and drugs can cause fuzziness and loss of concentration, chiropractic treatments give relief without side effects. No matter a person’s age, chiropractic care helps his or her body be higher-functioning and ready for life’s challenges, regardless of the form they take.

Chiropractic care benefits patients of a wide array of ages in a variety of ways. Family members should carefully consider the positive, long-lasting aspects of chiropractic treatment for themselves, their spouses, and children. A commitment to such treatment can decrease injury and performance issues, and increase flexibility, confidence, and success.

Call (780)455-2112 to get your family scheduled in for a chiropractic assessment!

Ankylosing Spondylitis chiropractic benefits

Ankylosing Spondylitis Sufferers Find Relief Through Chiropractic

Ankylosing Spondylitis is a type of arthritis that typically begins during adolescence or in a person’s early twenties and occurs more often in men than in women. However, once experiences onset, they are affected for the rest of their lives. It is estimated that between 0.2% and 0.5% of individuals in the United States suffers from ankylosing spondylitis.  It can cause significant pain, discomfort, and immobility. While there is no cure for the condition, the symptoms can be treated, bringing some degree of comfort and mobility.

What is Ankylosing Spondylitis?

Ankylosing Spondylitis, or AS, is a type of arthritis that causes inflammation in the spine. While the vertebrae are primarily involved, it can also affect other joints as well, including the hips, shoulders, heels, ribs, and the small joints of the feet and hands.

In some cases, the heart, lungs, and even eyes can be involved. If left untreated, the condition can progress, causing chronic pain that can be severe as the spinal inflammation increases. More advanced cases can cause the spine to grow new bone formations so that it is immobile, or fixed, sometimes resulting in kyphosis, which is a bowed or forward stooped posture.

What Causes Ankylosing Spondylitis?

While genetics is believed to be a key player in the development of Ankylosing Spondylitis, the exact cause has not yet been determined. The majority of people who have AS also carry a specific gene that has been linked to the condition.

This gene produces HLA-B27, a protein or genetic marker, that more than 95% of Caucasians with ankylosing spondylitis have. However, there are people who don’t have this protein who develop AS and there are many people who do carry this marker yet never develop the condition.

Researchers theorize that there may be other genes that may be involved, as well as environmental factors that trigger the gene activation, such as a bacterial infection, causing people who are susceptible to AS to activate it. Scientists have identified more than 60 genes that are believed to be associated with AS with only about 30% that are linked to HLA-B27 regarding overall risk. Other genes that have been identified as key to AS include IL-23, IL-17, IL-12, and ERAP.

It is also believed that AS can be triggered when the intestinal defenses break down, allowing certain bacteria into the bloodstream. This can, in turn, cause an immune response.

How is Ankylosing Spondylitis Treated?

AS cannot be cured, but the symptoms can be treated to relieve stiffness and pain as well as delay or prevent spinal deformity and other complications. The damage that it does to the joints is irreversible, so it is best if treatment is started before that occurs. There are several ways that AS is treated:

  • Medication – Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like indomethacin (Indocin) and naproxen (Naprosyn) are commonly used to treat the symptoms of AS. They can be effective in relieving pain, inflammation, and stiffness but may cause some side effects, including gastrointestinal bleeding. This makes long term use impractical and even unsafe. If NSAIDs do not help, other medications may be prescribed, including:
    • Golimumab (Simponi; Simponi Aria)
    • Certolizumab pegol (Cimzia)
    • Adalimumab (Humira)
    • Etanercept (Enbrel)
    • Infliximab (Remicade)
  • Physical therapy – PT is often recommended to help with flexibility, strength, and pain relief. It can help with posture and prevent some of the more debilitating symptoms.
  • Surgery – Most people with AS do not require surgery, but it may be recommended if there is severe joint damage or pain. In some cases, it can cause significant damage to hip joints and they will need to be replaced.
  • Chiropractic – Many patients with AS have with very good results with chiropractic treatment. It is non-invasive and does not have the unpleasant side effects that many medications have.

Chiropractic Treatment for Ankylosing Spondylitis

Chiropractors strongly recommend chiropractic treatment for the non-acute inflammatory stage of AS. Once the condition has progressed to acute joint disease, there is a very high risk of injury or damage to the connective tissue. Adjustments and exercise are used to relieve symptoms, but some of the traditional spinal manipulation treatments are not performed.

A chiropractor will also make recommendations to the patient regarding lifestyle changes that can help with symptoms, such as stopping smoking. Tobacco use can increase inflammation and damage connective tissue. They may also advise increasing their intake of omega 3 fatty acids in their diet. Regular chiropractic care can help patients manage symptoms and prevent disease progression, improving their quality of life.

Visit www.ocwc.ca to learn more about our clinic.

Spine Chiropractic

4 Reasons Why Chiropractic Is Good for Your Spine

Your spine goes through a lot each day. It provides structural support and houses the central nervous system which carries impulses from the brain throughout the body. When it isn’t working as it should, the entire body can be affected. Chiropractic has long been praised as a way to keep the back healthy. Well, now we’ll get down to the nitty gritty and examine just why it is so good for your spine.

It improves your posture

Posture is not only good for your spine, it is beneficial for the entire body. It keeps the body in proper alignment which, in turn, allows the muscles to work as they should.

This prevents abnormal wearing on the surfaces of the joints and allows joint and muscles to work more effectively and efficiently. Good posture helps to prevent injury and even helps with proper organ function.

However, many people have poor posture and don’t even realize it. Chiropractic can help bring the body into alignment and improving posture which greatly benefits the spine. The patient then enjoys improved range of motion and even more energy as the body does not have to work so hard to compensate for misalignments and poor posture.

It helps to relieve pain

It is estimated that as much as 90 percent of people experience back pain at some point. Considering all that the back goes through in a typical day, it isn’t much of a stretch to think that there might be some pain involved at times. This is especially true if the back is not properly aligned.

Chiropractic is traditionally thought of as a treatment for back pain, but what many people don’t realize is that it is also used to treat pain in the knees, ankles, feet, hands, and jaw. When there is pain in the body it will often try to compensate by adjusting to take the pressure off of certain areas.

This can cause misalignment which can impact the entire system, causing pain and stiffness. A Doctor of Chiropractic may treat these problems with various chiropractic techniques, specific exercise recommendations, and even dietary changes in order to relieve the pain.

It strengthens the spine to support the body

The spine is the primary support for the body. When it breaks down, the body suffers. Regular chiropractic treatment ensures that the spine remains in proper alignment which, in turn, keeps the body in proper alignment.

It helps with joint health as well as the health of the related muscles and ligaments. Your chiropractor can also recommend stretching and strength building exercises to help keep your spine strong and supple.

Chiropractic helps to keep the back flexible which aids in preventing injury. A strong spine is also less likely to become misaligned or experience pain. This can greatly improve your quality of life as you are more flexible and mobile.

It improves overall health

Chiropractic is good for your spine which means it is good for your overall health. While many people think that its only purpose is to treat back pain, chiropractic actually focuses on total body wellness.

All too often problems within the body are interrelated. For instance, back pain could be the result of an altered gait due to an ankle injury, or a headache could be caused by a misaligned neck due to improper sleep positions (or even the wrong pillow).

Chiropractors do treat the symptoms but they also delve into the problem to discover the root so that true healing can occur. This not only makes the spine healthy, but the entire body as well.

Call (780)455-2112 to schedule your assessment today!

Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction chiropractic benefits

Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction: Can Chiropractic Help?

Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction is a very common ankle and foot problem that occurs when there is a tear or inflammation in the posterior tibial tendon. The tendon that is at the back of the ankle and is the key player in stabilizing the foot. Inflammation or tear affects the integrity of the tendon, weakening it so that is no longer provides the support or stability of the arch of the foot. Flatfoot is a common result of this dysfunction.

While this condition rarely requires surgery, there is pain, sometimes severe, swelling, and impaired mobility associated with it. Patients have found that Chiropractic for flatfoot has been very effective. It helps them heal faster and manage their pain.

What causes posterior tibial tendon dysfunction?

The most common causes of flatfoot are overuse and injury. Falls are common culprits, causing injury to the tendon so that it tears or becomes inflamed.

Over training, particularly in high impact exercise or sports like basketball, dancing, soccer, and high impact aerobics can get tears due to the repetitive motion and constant pressure on the foot. Once the tendon is torn or inflamed, the arch begins to collapse until eventually the foot is flat.

This condition occurs more often in women than men. People over 40 seem to be more prone to posterior tibial tendon dysfunction. It can also occur in younger people who over train or have any of the other risk factors including diabetes, obesity, and hypertension.

What are the symptoms of posterior tibial tendon dysfunction?

Pain is the first and most common indicator of flatfoot. It typically is located where the tendon lies; along the inner portion of the ankle and foot. Sometimes swelling may be present.

The patient will also notice that the pain increases with activity. High impact or high intensity activities can be excruciating and quite difficult. It can get to the point where standing or walking for extended periods of time are very painful.

In advanced stages, the pain may shift to the outer portion of the ankle. As the arch collapses, the movement may cause the heel bone to shift outward. This, in turn, puts pressure on the outer ankle bone.

How is posterior tibial tendon dysfunction treated?

The treatment for flatfoot depends on the severity of the condition. Most patients can avoid surgery, but it is still a long healing process.

Typically, the patient will be advised to rest and ice the area, switch to low impact exercise, and take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication for the pain. In moderate to severe cases, the patient may be put in a walking boot or short leg cast for 6 to 8 weeks in order to immobilize the foot and ankle, letting the tendon rest and heal. The downside of this is that the other muscles around the ankle will also “rest” and atrophy as a result.

Shoe inserts, or orthotics, as well as braces are also common treatments for flatfoot. However, any type of immobilization of the ankle and foot is usually accompanied by physical therapy either while the brace is worn or after a cast has been removed.

In more severe cases, the doctor may recommend a steroid injection directly into the tendon. There is an increased risk of the tendon rupturing when this is done. Surgery is usually a last resort and it is much more complex. Patients who undergo surgery for flatfoot rarely regain all of the mobility they had prior to the operation.

Chiropractic for posterior tibial tendon dysfunction

There has been a great deal of success in using chiropractic to treat flatfoot. The chiropractor will typically recommend rest and ice. They will also use chiropractic manipulations to help bring the ankle, foot, and leg back into alignment to counteract the weakened tendon. Often the ankle will lose mobility as the arch collapses and the bones in the foot and ankle shift. This, in turn, causes the arch to collapse even more.

By using chiropractic techniques to bring the ankle back into alignment, thus restoring the forward glide of the joint, they can alleviate the pain and help heal the condition. They may also recommend an air brace to stabilize the ankle when the patient will be doing a lot of walking as well as advise on lifestyle changes such as weight loss and a healthy diet. Patients who have tried working with medical doctors to cure their flatfoot but were unsuccessful, were finally able to gain relief and improvement when they started working with their chiropractor.

Visit www.ocwc.ca to learn more about our doctors. Call (780)455-2112 to schedule your appointment!

osteoporosis chiropractic benefits

Osteoporosis vs. Osteopenia: What’s the Difference?

Osteoporosis is a significant health problem in the United States and worldwide. An estimated 10 million individuals have osteoporosis in the U.S. alone. An additional 18 million individuals are at risk of developing the disease, according to research. Females make up 80 percent of individuals who suffer from osteoporosis. This also occurs in males, although it is often under diagnosed and thus under reported.

What is equally disturbing is that another 34 million individuals in the U.S. are at risk of developing osteopenia, a common precursor to osteoporosis. Many experts blame the typical American diet and lifestyle. Although, genetics can also contribute to a person’s likelihood of developing either of the diseases. The prevalence of both osteoporosis and osteopenia are serious health issues so it is important to understand them.

What is Osteopenia?

Osteopenia is often a warning sign of impending osteoporosis. Nearly half of all Americans who are more than 50 years old have the disease.

Like osteoporosis, osteopenia is a bone disease, marked by a decrease in bone mineral density – or bone loss. While it is not as devastating as osteoporosis, it is a strong indicator that the patient will eventually develop the disease.

Nutrition and exercise are common treatments for osteopenia. Occasionally doctors will prescribe medication, but that is usually not the preferred treatment. Exercise, specifically weight bearing exercise, is a very effective treatment and preventative measure against osteoporosis.

Incorporating calcium and vitamin D are also common treatments. These can be in the form of supplements. Patients are also encouraged to eat calcium rich foods such as yogurt, leafy greens like spinach, and sardines.

What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a serious condition that causes bones to become extremely brittle and weak. The word “Osteoporosis” literally means “porous bone” which is indicative of the primary characteristic of the disease.

When the bone is viewed under a microscope, it has tiny holes in its surface. While healthy bone has a honeycomb appearance under a microscope, bone with osteoporosis has much larger spaces and holes. The mass and density of osteoporotic bone is severely compromised. This can result in frequent broken bones, as well as chronic pain and a patient can even lose several inches in height.

Patients with osteoporosis can also experience limited mobility due to the disease or broken bones that may occur as a result. This can lead to other health problems including depression and obesity. These conditions can exacerbate the disease itself and increase the patient’s pain. Often patients with osteoporosis, particularly at advanced stages, require long term care in a facility such as a nursing home.

The real danger with osteoporosis is not how devastating it is to bones. It is the way it can go undetected for so long. Often it is not discovered until a bone is actually broken or the patient’s upper back begins curving forward. Sometimes the patient may become shorter. At that stage it is usually very advanced. With the right treatment, though, it can be slowed or stopped. Sometimes bone density can be improved and the disorder can be reversed at least to some degree.

What to do if you have Osteoporosis or Osteopenia

If you suspect that you may have osteoporosis or osteopenia, or may be at risk for developing it, the first thing you need to do is talk to your doctor to confirm that you do have it. From there you can decide on a course of action which is usually exercise, diet, lifestyle changes, and chiropractic treatments. The sooner you take steps to protect and improve your health, the less likely you are to develop long term conditions.

Give our clinic a call to schedule your assessment. Our Chiropractors are skilled and thorough professionals that’s happy to help! (780)455-2212 www.ocwc.ca for more info.